Training should teach heads 'tough love'

2nd June 2000 at 01:00
THE BEST headteachers practise "tough love" in their schools, combining a caring attitude towards staff and pupils with a rigorous focus on achievement.

But the training for serving heads does not reflect these key, "people centred" values and needs a serious re-think, according to the latest findings.

A team from Nottingham University was commissioned by the National Association of Head Teachers to ask teachers, other staff, pupils, governors and parents what made 12 headteachers - all commended by the Office for Standards in Education for their leadership qualities - so special.

The study found that these heads were caring, thoughtful and highly principled, with strong values and personal beliefs. But caring for pupls and staff did not mean they were soft on them. Instead, their concern was matched by effective monitoring of teacher performance and pupil achievement. These heads also had the ability to manage tensions and problems, which were often the result of external pressures such as government initiatives.

However existing programmes for serving headteachers do not encourage then to develop the right qualities, said Professor Chris Day, who led the Nottingham team.

He said: "The content doesn't ask them to reflect on their own values. Nor does it ask them to reflect systematically on the tensions and dilemmas they experience. It doesn't match with what appear to be the qualities and skills of successful leadership."


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now